When Mitch Kupchak called Phil Jackson to tell him that he was hiring Mike D'Antoni as coach, he didn't give the Lakers General Manager the most encouraging reaction. "I laughed," Jackson told ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show, according to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "It was humorous to me when Mitch said that we think that Mike is a better coach for this group of guys." Here's the latest from around the league..
- The Cavs have a lot of options at their disposal this summer as they look to get back to the postseason, writes Lang Greene of HoopsWorld. Cleveland has just over $27MM in guaranteed salaries on the books for next season, but could create more space by dropping the non-guaranteed contracts of C.J. Miles ($2.3MM) and Kevin Jones ($789K). Veteran forward Marreese Speights also holds a player option of $4.5MM for next season and could opt out to pursue a multi-year deal this summer.
- More from Greene, who writes that Kevin Love is optimistic about the Timberwolves' future. “I think Flip is great,” Love said. “I’ve always admired what he’s done, obviously coming from the Timberwolves prior, being with Detroit and having been in the Western and Eastern Conference Finals he’s got quite a reputation."
- Phil Handy has joined Mike Brown's staff as an assistant coach with Cavs, sources tell Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Handy was a player development coach with the Lakers under Brown.
- Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link) notes that Jerry Colangelo never believed Mike Krzyzewski wouldn't come back to coach the U.S. Olympic team even though Krzyzewski publicly said he was done. Colangelo said in an interview back in February that he hadn't heard from Coach K directly that he didn't want to return, which led him to believe that he could lure him back for 2016.
- Memphis senior D.J. Stephens registered a 46 inch maximum vertical at today's workout in Brooklyn, which may be the highest recorded measurement in NBA history, tweets Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress.